CallVU redefining IVR experience

Walk through the exhibition area at a show like Money20/20 and you find dozens of companies addressing similar problems.

But occasionally you find a unique company like CallVU. With offices in the United States and Israel, CallVU offers a digital engagement and bot platform combining digital and interactive media with web, voice and social channels to open up new ways of steering customers to digital self service.

“CallVU is the bridge between digital assets that companies have and the phone, which is still the channel most customers like to use when contacting their service provider,” VP of marketing Yoel Knoll began.

Mr. Knoll said that when interacting with service providers most people begin by visiting that company’s app, website or social media pages to get the information needed to make a transaction. Some then leave those sources to continue the interaction through more traditional channels involving call centres, which are unnecessarily time-consuming for them and expensive for the company to offer.

With CallVU technology, companies can intercept service calls and guide customers to a visual representation of an interactive voice response (IVR). They receive a text message or pop-up that guides them to a menu that solves most issues. On the slight chance they need to talk to an agent the entire interaction log is available so that agent does not have to backtrack. The agent can share screens with the caller and guide them through authentication steps such as authentication.

Yoel Knoll

“What we’ve done is take a voice channel and diverted it into a digital channel,” Mr. Knoll said.

The industry keeps moving the dial on how much customer service can be provided by technology. For the overwhelming majority of customer queries in most sectors, the capability already exists, he believes.

“I’m a huge believer in AI. In most cases with banks, insurance providers and telephone companies, you can talk to a machine. There’s no added value in talking to a human.”

Technology improves exponentially, Mr. Knoll added. As more use cases are commonly addressed, its capability quickly grows.

And as millennials become a larger percentage of the marketplace the use of technology should also grow. While he said recent research suggests when wanting to make a significant financial decision such as a stock purchase, millennials still want to talk to a human, that may not always be the case.

“Eventually when machines become as smart as us, then I don’t know,” Mr. Knoll said.

Simple data points to what the future will be, Mr. Knoll said. Ninety per cent of people over 60 visiting a website don’t interact with it, they only get information. More than half of people over 35 choose human interaction over a machine even for trivial matters. Maybe 25 per cent of people 20-35 want to talk to people when making financial decisions.

“Seventy per cent of people who call a bank first go to a website to look up the phone number,” Mr. Knoll said. “Think about how absurd that is. They start on a digital channel and go back to the phone.

“Why don’t they just stay in a digital channel? Because they are so used to talking to a human.”

CallVU offers the bridge that can help transition people who are reluctant to engage in digital customer service.

“We can provide a digital menu during the phone conversation that shows we’re there and we understand,” Mr. Knoll said. “We just have to get over this gap.”

In a world dominated by digital interactions, when machines are smart enough to talk like humans we won’t know the difference between the two, Mr. Knoll suggests. While contact centres may be needed for more complex interactions, most others will become digital because it’s simpler.

“Our way is a great way to educate the market because we’re not fighting your instincts or your urge to call,” Mr. Knoll said. “But when you do, we’re going to give you the option of doing it digitally.

“We try and bring the experience to an omnichannel one. We connect all the dots.”

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